Have you ever seen something in your reflection that vanished the moment you tried to focus on it? An awful thing wrought from the world you almost, but mustn’t, see when the corner of your vision blurs? So did I, dear reader; but my imaginary stalker was bolder than most. After months of snatched glances, it stepped wholly into frame. An awful visage, almost like myself yet entirely alien; a beast of human flesh but inhuman shape, stretching in to dimensions I’ve no right to have ever witnessed. I felt as though, by observing this creeping wrong thing, somehow it was I that had transgressed reality’s firm, vital laws.
It remained by me in every reflection; my thing stood tall in mirrors, watched me from windows, rippled hungrily in puddles after rain. For months I watched it creep closer to my reflected self, while my few confidantes told me to seek medical attention. To be told to get help for something you see as clear as day is as like to make you mad as any bestial mirror-thing.
It grew worse, as abominations are wont to do. I woke one day to find my reflection entirely absent, and instead only the monster greeted me. Rather than idly observing my machinations now it mirrored me, mimicking my absent reflection. I admit that, for a single queer moment, I felt the swelling void of madness; something awful, wanton, and endless opened up below me and almost swallowed me in its fathomless maw. I nearly welcomed it.
But my mind remained steadfast, if a little altered, with this new predicament. Soon my mirrors were covered, and when that could not silence the whispers of my stalker I shattered every reflective surface in my home, and was granted a brief respite. My home became a haven to the unseen, as I neglected my straight razor and threw myself ever further into my work. Work which now taxed me in new and awful ways as I hid away from anything that dare reflect my monster back at me.
No-one else saw the monster, still. The man-thing in the mirror that taunted me with its mimicry, daring me to slip and allow it further entry into reality.
I thought to continue as I now was forever; it isn’t such a shame to have lost reflections, once they’re gone. I’d not learned to shave or otherwise keep myself reasonably well kempt without my mirror, but what is looking a little indecent, even abhorrent, when the alternative is confronting is a foul visage from the void itself? Surely with enough inobservance I’d be left alone, anyway.
But it never works that way, does it?
I was sitting in a café I’ve loved for many a month, more so since they stopped bothering to replace the shattered mirrors in the bathroom. I was queuing to pay for my tea when I turned about at the ringing bell of the door, and who should be standing in the queue, slyly watching me, but my reflecting stalker?
How? How did he escape the confines of unreality and seek me out? Well I wasn’t going to be accosted, not in public where others could once again judge me to be mad! Thus with gay abandon I fled the café, and sought refuge in a library two streets down. I hid in the fiction aisle until my heart returned from thunder to murmur, and rationalised away the twisted man as nothing but my tired mind.
Walking to the desk, I hoped to pass off my hurried visit as a desire to pay a late fee; but the librarian was only too familiar to me. How dare he? How dare he wear the clothes of a civilised man, how dare he smile at me from behind the librarian’s desk with such wry, condescending eyes, how dare he!
He is everywhere, now. In the corners of my eyes I glance regular folk as they should be, but all who gain my focus are overtaken, rewritten, with his face. I know he wishes me harm, so I hide from all now, to protect them and myself.
I’ve replaced the mirrors in my house, now. Why not, when he is everywhere else? He still resides in my mirror, but I suppose he did not expect me to return to where we began; for now he looks quite troubled when he sees me staring at him through the glass, from the corner of the room.